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Escudella – A Country Stew

October 20, 2009

Veggies2
The cuisine of Andorra is often referred to as Catalan Mountain Cuisine. Catalonia rests along the Mediterranean Coast of Spain’s Iberian Peninsula. The Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, the Franks, and the Moors all settled into this region (most without a welcome mat) throughout history.

Th food relies heavily on pork, lamb, and poultry. Lake fish, especially trout, is frequently used in Andorran dishes. Olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, potatoes, eggplant, pasta, wine, cheese are mainstays. As I looked through the menus of restaurants in Andorra, fondue was a often on the menu.

Escudella is a stew and great license can be taken with this type of dish. You can use sausages or cuts of chicken, pork, or lamb. We chose chicken sausage. You can use pasta shells or beans. Some people use both.

In our home, when we refer to The Queen we are taking about saffron. She is the richest, headiest, most succulent of flavorings and she is right at home in this stew. I know she’s expensive. Worth every penny.

As with all dishes, I truly believe most soups and stews taste better the next day.

ANDORRAN ESCUDELLA

INGREDIENTS

4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 small potatoes, halved or quartered depending upon size
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 1 lb. box of pasta shells (your choice)
1 lb. sausages (your choice)
2 small pinches of saffron
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika

DIRECTIONS

Place 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch Oven or large pot and heat gently. Add the onion and three of minced garlic cloves. Heat until golden, then add all the vegetables, and the parsley. Coat with the olive oil, onions and garlic. Add 8 cups of water or homemade vegetable broth. Add the saffron, salt, pepper and paprika. Stir, cover, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, until vegetables are tender.

While the stew is cooking, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the minced clove of garlic to medium-sized saute pan. Heat gently then add the sausages. Cook until you have browned the outside of the sausages. Cut into 1-inch pieces and pour into the stew, including the oil and garlic from the saute pan. Stir and cover.

Meanwhile, prepare the pasta shells and add to the stew in the last 5 minutes.

Before serving, add some cracked pepper. Crusty bread is a must.

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Serves 8-10

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2009 4:14 pm

    With this food and a $5 defense budget, I could get used to Andorra quickly.

  2. October 21, 2009 8:40 am

    That looks delicious.

  3. October 21, 2009 8:44 am

    Denise has asked me to make a wine recommendation for the dishes she is posting, and I am happy to comply.

    The Escudella is a fairly hearty dish that is actually a lot more like a soup than a stew, to my tatse. I think a nice Spanish Garnacha would be perfect. One that I really like is Borsao. I haven’t looked in quite a while, but I used to find it at Cost Plus World Market for about $5. Don’t be afraid of the price tag – it’s actually a very nice wine.

    If you’re more in the mood for a white wine, try a Grenache Blanc. The Spanish region of Priorat is where Grenache Blanc has its roots, so you might try one from there. You could also expect good results with a white Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

    Randy Fuller
    http://nowandzin.com

  4. Rune permalink
    November 12, 2010 12:21 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I just made it on my alphabetic journey around the world. Absolutely brilliant, even better than the Algerian chakhchoukha I had last week.

Trackbacks

  1. Andorra – Escudella « Cooking Around The World

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